Thursday, April 23, 2009

Umbrella Project

For my Advanced Digital Photography class we mainly have one large project, our umbrella project. We had a choice of a subject we wanted to pursue, with not too many restrictions. Some people did studio lighting, others did a theme on drugs and alcohol, one person is doing a project on race. I wanted to pursue something with my faith.

At first I wanted to create images in the studio that shared my view on Christianity, being a Christian. I tried to find similar pieces of work, but had a hard time. Eventually I decided to go a different route. I figured it would be helpful to find out what people around me believe.

So instead of a studio assignment it turned into a documentary. What I do is find people, take their photo and ask them, "Who is God to you?" They then write it down and I eventually scan that piece of paper and place it next to their photograph.

I hope to do around 10-15 of them all at 16x20. This project has gone several revisions since I started a few months ago. Firstly, I want to focus on college age people. A recent sermon I heard said that more and more college age people are drifting away from religion. Secondly I want to print big. By printing larger, I wanted to make the images very immediate. I wanted the words bigger than life.

With this project, the people I document are now creating God in their image. It is extremely interesting to compare the writing to the people in the photographs. I am about halfway done, so let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Check out the GMI website with all the photos and stories from the trip to London and Paris.

There are sections for Magazine, Photojournalism, Broadcast and a link to our blog which has some personal accounts of the trip.

It was designed by the very talented Megan C. Hamilton, who also did a great job, along with Suzanne Yada, running the trip. These two girls kept everyone on their heels and pushed them to do better.

So why are you still reading this? GO HERE.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I am a big fan of Life Magazine. Not that Sunday, cheap thing that would come with your newspaper, tucked between the comics. Anytime I see a book about the old Life Magazine, I have to try extremely hard not to buy it. The pictures, concept and quality of that magazine have been unmatched.

Recently, the magazine has found new life online. recently launched, a sort of revival in a new medium. It is strongly visually based, with tons of photos of current news. In fact, through a quick exploration, I don't see any written stories. The pictures seem to be telling the words with extended cutlines.

So is this going to be successful? Is it going to revive the old spirit of Life Magazine?

I hope so.

The site itself is straight forward. The pictures look great. The stories are current.

Some bad things: the site is slow. Viewing the stories needs a much better player. I would expect something flash, though I am sure they have many reasons why it isn't. But it takes way to long to switch to the next picture sometimes and is annoying to see the next page load.

It's obviously going to have to rely on the name and possibly older stories and photos such as the one below to get going. Lets hope that it can stand on its own in this new age of media.

I have always dreamed of shooting for Life, maybe that'll happen someday.

The recent discovery of photos from the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered is wonderful. Going through the pictures, I find myself in a sort of awe of the photos and what they mean; what those moments meant after MLK was assassinated. Its amazing that these photos have been in a file cabinet for the past few decades.

This photo story is an important documentation of one of the most somber times in American history, and they just might be what needed to get going. Something big to bring attention to the site, which without it, these pictures might not have surfaced for many more years. is going to get more than just a bookmark in my browser. Its going on the bookmark bar with my daily sites I check.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oh how I miss Paris

This is one of my favorite photos of the trip.

It was a complete act of guided randomness. I wouldn't call it an accident and can't say that it was completely random. I purposely held the camera lower at an angle. I knew the focus would be iffy. I was pretty positive that I would capture a natural moment.

But I did not know how it would turn out.

That's okay.

What I like so much is the area in focus. Normally a head in front of a monument would be exposed well and in focus, to ensure its place of value in the photo. I don't know that the head in front losses any value. In fact it makes me think. Who is this guy? Why is he by the Eiffel Tower? Why doesn't he look happy? Is he having some issues? Why isn't he important enough to be in focus?

I did the same thing for this photo. I just wish I could have got more of the tower in the background. Not much more, just a more.

I think this is a style I am going to pursue. It's kinda holga-ish, even more since I went with the square crop.